I watched a video interview with Martha Shrimpton entitled Creativity in Church – from the Creative Christianity Summit. It reminded me of the truth that we are made in God’s image and an important part of that is our creativity. One of the questions posed by the interview was “how do I connect with God?” For me, it is a range of things (in addition to the usual prayer and bible reading, worship etc):
- a cup of tea first thing in the morning, simply sitting with god
- some forms of painting when done in an intentionally prayerful way
- playing with words and ideas
- going for a walk with Jesus, mulling things over, being attentive to what I can see around me
I think that what I took away from that interview was a greater appreciation of what I already knew and believed. Sometimes we need reminders.
Jesus, in his earthly ministry, saw people in a different way to the culture around them. And his seeing them as they really are, valuing them for who they are, changed them. So when I allow Jesus to see me as I am, and accept that he values me as I am and who I am, then this will change me and help me to see people and things differently – hopefully more the way that He sees them . We are all wonderfully unique. No two people are the same and no two people express their creativity in the same way. It is a futile exercise to compare yourself with someone else.
Jesus and the Holy Spirit were involved in the creation of the world. They are the source of creative inspiration. The Spirit of Creator Jesus can fill and inspire you and me, so that when we create it is in partnership with Him.
As we play with ideas, colours, fabric, paint, words, numbers, in our work and in our leisure, we are being creative. Even making the bed and cleaning the bathroom can be seen as creativity – making the house lovely to live in. Doing the garden, cooking a meal or mending something are all ways of creating something good and in doing so participate in blessing the world around us, sharing in the work of God. Or as St Paul put it: “whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Cor 10:31 NIV) although the bible scholar in me knows that this is taking the verse out of context as he was addressing people about the misuse of the freedom we have from religious rules about what we eat.
If we can appreciate our creativity in the day to day tasks of living, perhaps when we come to do something ‘artistic’ or ‘creative’ in the more commonly understood meaning of those words, then approaching it with a sense of fun and relaxing into God’s presence and guidance may make it more enjoyable. Doing this will probably make it a better vehicle for expressing that which is within us.
And I am very aware that I have a nice new journaling bible still awaiting my first use (other than just reading it). I don’t know where to start or what to do…. I don’t want to mess it up!!!! Or dear…. perhaps I should turn to the verse I quoted above and see where it takes me.
Jumping ahead in the day – at lunch time I did do something in my bible and finished it after a walk in the Weaver Hills with hubby. It isn’t the most glorious piece of bible journaling but it is a start. A hymn came to mind so I went with that:
Back to this morning: The interview went on to talk about how we tell our stories (testimony). We praise God for what he has done in our lives and the impact of knowing Jesus. There is no set way to tell our story, but in order for it to be effective, of course it has to grab the listener/reader. I hope that my story brings glory to God as my motivation is love of Jesus and gratitude for what he has done, as well as wanting others to also benefit from letting him in. And a big part of my story is told in poetry and pictures as they have often been the ways that God has touched me. I am very soon going to be submitting the story behind the poems and pictures to publishers: Are we there yet? is the title and the answer to the question is Yes.
After watching the interview I spent an hour doing the lettering challenge set in the summit. I took my first initial, the letter E, and did 16 versions of it. I struggled for ideas but manged it. It was good to be engrossed in something that was unimportant and didn’t matter if it was good or not. I will do it again another day using the letter J.
And so I come to the end of this blog and the end of a day off in which I did very little. But I suppose that’s what a day off is for. There are lots of things I could have done and probably even more I should have done. Despite having a walk up a hill and down again with hubby I am only at 70% of my daily target of 10,000 steps. So despite the light rain I shall go for a quick walk round the lake – it’s either that or do some housework. No competition!